“Klang 2 is a psychedelic rhythm-action game, blindly pursuing full immersion with dance music through high-speed combat. Conduct electronic symphonies with your lightning powers, wield magical tuneblades, and achieve a euphoric state of trance through skillful play.”
What is Klang 2?
I have never experienced the original Klang, but from the gameplay videos I watched I think it’s safe to say that Klang 2 is more of what the original game was with some new minor additions. Klang 2‘s main goal is to add something new to the popular rhythm-dance genre — combat. This is what makes the game into a “rhythm-action” game.
When stripped down you would think that Klang 2 is your basic rhythm-dance game. Something like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero and others that came before, but dressed up with some killer combat. After making it past the first few “safe” levels of the game I noticed that it does get pretty tough.
While you’re only using one button in this game (Y on Switch, unless you map it to something else), the hard part is aiming the thumbstick in the right direction. It becomes especially difficult when the music gets so fast and they have you pointing in opposite directions. While many rhythm games have you watching the bottom portion of the screen for which letter or symbol to hit next, this game has you looking all over the screen and pointing in every direction.
There are three shapes you must hit in Klang 2, however each shape requires it’s own set of rules. When a circle appears you just have to point your thumbstick in that general direction to hit it. A triangle uses the same concept, except it launches you towards it. The square is the harder one that you must point towards and hold down “Y” as you shoot your energy weapon at it until it is gone. The hard part is the timing. Also, the faster the music gets the less forgiving this all becomes.
Handheld vs TV (Switch)
I guess the handheld vs TV debate is only relevant to Nintendo Switch owners. I started off playing Klang 2 strictly in docked mode on my TV, even though the game recommends headphones. The game looks and plays great on my 4K TV. The best way to enjoy this game on your TV is in a dark room with the volume up, way up (or with headphones, if you got them).
When I finally played on handheld mode I realized that the colors looked so bright and vivid (and I don’t even have a Switch OLED). Using my over ear headphones also made the game more immersive. I don’t know why, but the game seemed to pop a bit more on the Switch handheld screen, though using a Switch Pro controller on my TV makes the gameplay a bit smoother.
The game has a specific grading scale for passing (and failing) levels. If you fail you will not receive a grade and start from the beginning. Each level keeps track of your hits and misses, showing your percentage rise as you play. If you reach the end of a song you will receive a score based on your percentage.
The grading scale goes like this C B A S, with C being the lowest (about 60%) and S being the highest (95% or higher). My highest score has been an A (a 92%). I started off with Bs (about 70%) on everything, but I learned that the more you play the better you get when you head back to those earlier levels.
Klang 2 trains the player to become better at rhythm-combat as you progress. In the beginning I was stuck on the first four levels for a while. I had four Bs, and upgraded to four As after a bit of replaying, but still no new levels were unlocked. It wasn’t until I went back to the first world that I noticed a second “tutorial-type” level. Once I completed that I unlocked four more new levels.
These were instantly much tougher than those first levels. Since the soundtrack is full of EDM, Dubstep and club tracks most levels start off slow and simple before moving on to a punishingly difficult, fast-paced tempo. There are about 30 levels in total and I’ve made it through almost ten.
It’s kind of funny that you really get better at the game by listening and feeling the music. You could try to stare at the symbols on the screen and press the Y button at the perfect moment each time, but by listening to the music and loosely scanning the screen you can have an easier time and end levels with higher accuracy. Once I started bobbing my head to the beats, that’s when I became a master of Klang 2.
While combat makes Klang 2 look and feel different than the rhythm games that came before, it is still a rhythm game at its core. That’s totally fine if you are looking for a rhythm game. It feels different at first because you notice that you are fighting bad guys, but once it gets to ridiculously hard status you realize it’s just about buttons and timing.
The game could use a bit more guidance, especially in the menu layout. It took me too long to realize I had to go backwards to find a level I had somehow skipped before I can move on to new tracks.
At one point I tried playing on mute, without hearing any of the music. At first I was doing great and thought this means the whole music part of these games doesn’t matter it’s just a visual thing. Of course the music got too fast and I died at some point. When I went back to playing with the music on and feeling the beats I played much, much better.
Who’s it for?
Klang 2 is a great game for people who loved the original Klang, or other rhythm game lovers. It does bring something cool to the genre, with combat and the whole directional choices. If you’re into club music, EDM (Electronic Dance Music), House, Dubstep it’s a nice game to listen to music while you play. Although, if you aren’t very good at this game you might find yourself listening to the same tracks over and over again.
Overall, Klang 2 is a fun, mindless game. It does take a lot of brain power, but you don’t have to keep track of characters and story (unless you really want to). The game gives you the option of getting the story or just the gameplay early on.
Klang 2 is out now on PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and Nintendo Switch.
*myVGBC.com was provided with a Klang 2 review code for the Nintendo Switch from the publisher.